What happens when a healthy, easy, grab-and-go breakfast meets your favorite dessert? You get carrot cake overnight oats!
This delicious breakfast is packed with carrot cake flavors from crisp, grated carrots, raisins, pineapple, pecans, coconut, and spices. It’s full of whole-grain oats, fruit, nuts, and extra protein from chia seeds and Greek yogurt to fuel you for hours.
Why This Recipe Works
I eat oats almost daily because the complex carbs and fiber they provide keep me full for hours. Plus, they’re rich in beta-glucan, a component of soluble fiber that can lower cholesterol and balance blood sugar.
If I could, I would probably eat carrot cake daily, too, because I just love it. That’s how this recipe was born. It’s delicious but healthy, too, and it ranks right up there with my piña colada overnight oats for my favorite breakfast flavors.
Overnight oats don’t require any cooking. Instead, they soak and soften in milk. That makes them a perfect prep ahead breakfast.
And, this recipe is ready to eat in about two hours, but you can assemble it and let it soak overnight or up to four days. It’s ideal if you have a busy week ahead and want a grab-and-go breakfast you can eat on the run.
Here are some of the key ingredients you’ll need to make this recipe. I’ve listed a few substitutions and variations in the section below.
Oats. Use old-fashioned oats when making this (or any overnight oats) recipe. They have just the right consistency when soaked, and they won't get too mushy.
Carrots. I recommend buying whole carrots and grating them on a cheese grater or in a food processor (faster and easier). Grated carrots sold in bags in the produce department are cut thicker, and they’re a bit tough for this recipe.
Raisins. I always find golden raisins sweeter and softer than black raisins, so they’re my go-to choice for this recipe.
Shredded coconut. Look for unsweetened coconut in the baking aisle. Many brands have added sugar.
Chia seeds. These absorb some of the milk and will help thicken the oats mixture. They also add lots of fiber, omega-3 fat, and protein.
Milk. You can use regular dairy milk or any type of plant milk in this recipe.
Greek yogurt. It really boosts the protein in these oats. I prefer plain because it has no sugar added, and it has more of a “cream cheese icing” flavor. Use nonfat, low-fat, or full-fat Greek yogurt as desired.
Substitutions and Variations
- For a dairy-free option, use plant milk and plant yogurt (coconut or vanilla flavors work well), or skip the yogurt and add about ½ cup more milk to the oats mixture.
- If you’re not a fan of raisins or pineapple, you can leave them out.
- If you have fresh pineapple available, mince it well and use it instead of canned pineapple.
- Adjust the sweetness to your taste. I don't think this recipe is overly sweet. You can also swap brown sugar, honey, or a no-calorie sweetener for the maple syrup.
- Swap chopped walnuts for the pecans.
- To boost the protein, add an extra scoop of Greek yogurt or a scoop of plain or vanilla protein powder to each portion before serving.
First, measure all of your ingredients and add them to a large mixing bowl.
Second, stir everything well to combine.
Third, portion the oats mixture into jars or small containers or cover the container and portion it as needed. You’ll have about four cups, which is ideal for four to five portions.
I don’t recommend using quick oats when making overnight oats. They are cut too thin and will end up paste-like. And steel-cut oats are too hard and won’t soften without cooking. Old-fashioned oats are just right.
If you follow a gluten-free diet, make sure you buy certified gluten-free oats. While oats are naturally gluten-free, they are frequently cross-contaminated by wheat.
If you use bagged shredded carrots from the grocery store, chop them into smaller pieces before adding them to the bowl.
Cold oatmeal is delicious, especially when the weather is warm, but if you’re not quite ready to try it, feel free to portion your oats into a microwave-safe bowl and heat it for 30-45 seconds. Stir it well before eating to disperse any hot spots.
How to Eat Carrot Cake Overnight Oats
While it’s perfect for a fast and healthy breakfast, this recipe also hits the spot in the afternoon when you need a guilt-free sweet treat.
I like to top this with an extra scoop of plain Greek yogurt to boost the protein.
This oatmeal is also amazing with a scoop of my honey sea salt labneh. It’s thick, strained yogurt that seriously tastes like cream cheese icing.
Store the oat mixture in preportioned jars with lids or in a covered bowl in the refrigerator for up to four days.
Yes, you can use water instead of milk, but the milk adds extra creaminess.
Absolutely! I recommend reducing the amount of milk by about ½ cup if you don't use chia seeds.
Other Related Oat Recipes
Oats are so tasty, versatile, and good for you. Don't miss these other oatmeal recipes.
Carrot Cake Overnight Oats
- 1 ½ cups Old Fashioned oats
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 2 medium carrots peeled and grated with a cheese grater or food processor
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
- ¼ cup chopped pecans toasted
- 1 cup crushed pineapple undrained
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup or to taste
- 2 cups milk any type
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- Measure all of the ingredients into a large mixing bowl.
- Stir well to combine.
- Cover the bowl with a lid or if desired, portion the mixture into four or five jars or lidded containers. Refrigerate overnight or for up to four days.